Guilt will always catch the guilty no matter what, even if they are never caught. In the tragedy Macbeth by William Shakespeare, Macbeth becomes bloodthirsty for the throne of Scotland and killed many people to become the ruler. But during these acts of killing he begins to feel guilty about what he has done. He shows this through ghosts, the motif of blood, and the motif of sleep. In the tragedy William Shakespeare uses Motifs to show that guilt catches the guilty. Macbeth’s guilt catches up to him in many ways throughout the book, one of them is through the motif of blood. In the tragedy it states “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hands (Shakespeare 57).” Macbeth is asking that the blood of Duncan be washed off of his hands even though his hands are clean. In the book it also states “What, will these hands ne’er be clean(Shakespeare 155)?” This is something Lady Macbeth says while she was sleepwalking in the castle. She is talking about how after they killed Duncan and everyone else that the blood never really washed off of …show more content…
In the tragedy it states “Glamis hath murdered sleep, and therefore Cawdor shall sleep no more! Macbeth shall sleep no more(Shakespeare)!” This is talking about how Macbeth can’t sleep because of all the murders he has committed. He is practically horrified because of all of the things that he has done to become King. He is sicked because he let his greed and ambition get out of hand, all leading up to him not being able to sleep. It also states “Methought I heard a voice cry ‘Sleep no more! / Macbeth does murder sleep’ -- the innocent sleep(Shakespeare 57). Nobody is really saying these things but since Macbeth just killed people his mind is making him think that someone is saying that. The sleep motif is important because throughout the book his guilt builds up and it gets unbearable for Macbeth and Lady
Macbeth knew nothing good would come from murdering Duncan as his greed fully takes control of him. Shakespeare uses the intense imagery of Macbeth’s bloodied hands to show the lasting guilt of a person. Likewise, after Duncan’s death, Macbeth secures the title of King but is again filled with guilt and remorse. Shakespeare further uses blood to represent guilt after Macbeth has received the title of King of Scotland when Macbeth attends a banquet with other
Throughout Macbeth, there are continuous references to sleep and its influence over characters. Sleep is used to symbolize innocence, purity, and sanity. When a character has difficulty sleeping, they're experiencing feelings of inner turmoil or have a guilty conscience. Sleep also represents the intentions of a character because characters that sleep more usually have good intentions. In short, Shakespeare uses many different literary devices to portray the importance of needing sleep, and what consequences follow if a character cannot sleep.
You see, Shakespeare used the story of Macbeth to position audiences to recognise that immoral acts will lead to crippling guilt. The story of Macbeth is about how guilt comes to the surface when someone has intentionally done something wrong. For example, Macbeth with the support of his wife carries out a regicide; the murder of King Duncan. In
The passage is significant because of the use of metaphors that create images of purity ruined by disorder. Macbeth compares sleep to a ravell’d sleeve (2.2.49), death (2.2.50), and the murder of Cawdor (2.2.55). These metaphors create a negative image, while it is compared to innocent sleep. Shakespeare compares sleep to an undone sleeve to indicate, sleep can restore a
Shakespeare uses sleep and dreams to portray people’s inner fears and contrasting sleep as a place where people are completely honest with themselves. Sleep prevents the characters from lying and also contrasts their ambitions to their guilt, thus exposing how Macbeth’s personality is relatable and shows flaws that everyone is subjugated to, evoking that guilt is an outcome of our own ambitions. When the characters in Macbeth are asleep, they are faced with their inner fears and their desires, as sleep is the time when they are the most honest with themselves. The characters are incapable of lying to themselves and uncovers their real personalities. Previous to Macbeth killing King Duncan and trying to fulfill the prophecy, “A heavy summons
Throughout the first two acts of Macbeth, the motif of sleep is portrayed through several opposing perspectives. We are first introduced to this recurring idea in the first scene, when the witches elect to meet Macbeth on the heath during the battle’s aftermath. The First Witch says that she will punish a woman by preventing her husband from sleeping on his voyage, declaring that “I will drain him dry as hay: Sleep shall neither night nor day Hang upon his pent-house lid;” (I.ii.18-20). The phenomenon in this scene is presented as an basic item that is to always be taken for granted, like clean water and shelter. If someone were to be denied the right to sleep, it would constitute torture.
In this act, Lady Macbeth is a very good example of the motif sleep and sleeplessness because although she is asleep, she acts as if she were awake. This is probably related to the quote in act 2, scene 2, when Macbeth keeps hearing the lines “Macbeth does murder sleep” (2.2.48). Lady Macbeth is constantly reliving Duncan and Banquo’s murders in her sleep because she feels very guilty about
Here’s the smell of the blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh, Oh, Oh!” (Act 5, Scene 1) Though she continuously rubs her hands to get rid of the blood, Lady Macbeth can not washed away the guilt that stains her hands.
William Shakespeare's Macbeth is a tragedy filled with slumber. The keyword “sleep” is mentioned thirty-four times in the text. However, sleep related problems arise very often in the text. This proves sleep to be one of the most prominent motifs in the text. Shakespeare uses this motif figuratively and literally.
Guilt plays a strong role in motivating Macbeth, and causes Lady Macbeth to be driven over the edge of her being insane leading to her death. Throughout the story, there are many different types of guilty feelings that play a role in Macbeth’s fatal decisions and bring Lady Macbeth to commit suicide. Although there are many instances that show the power guilt has played on the main characters, there are three examples
Sleep is one of the purest forms of altered consciousness however, traumatic experiences can impede one’s unconscious thoughts. Macbeth returns after killing Duncan and the guards, grief stricken and afraid. He tells his wife that sleep itself has been murdered and that nobody is immune his treachery (5.1.44). Macbeth’s crime is intensified by the act of murder being done at night and to sleeping rather than awake guards. The moment of guilt that Macbeth felt for his actions represents the hidden innocence behind the crimes.
"Eat our meal in fear and sleep / In the affliction of these terrible dreams / That shake us nightly" (3.2.17-19). This depicts that Macbeth is fearful, paranoid, and plagued with nightmares that will eventually lead him towards insanity. Additionally, in Act 5 it says "Rise from her bed, throw her night-gown upon her, unlock her closet, take forth paper, fold it, write upon't, read it, afterwards seal it, and again return to bed; yet all this while in a most fast sleep" (5.1.5-7). The motif is also effective in the quote because Lady Macbeth is acting like she is awake when she is actually asleep.
The word “sleep” is used throughout Macbeth with various connotations. One of the ways to interpret Shakespeare's use of “sleep,” is as a symbol of innocence. This symbolism is used repeatedly in concerns to Duncan and his murder. When Lady Macbeth is unable to kill Duncan, she explains, “Had he not resembled / My father as he slept, I had done’t”
Macbeth does murder sleep', the innocent sleep, Sleep that knits up the ravell'd sleeve of care, The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath, Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course, Chief nourisher in life's feast,—” (Mac. 2.2. 51-56). During this conversation between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth he explains he now has destroyed his peace and ability to sleep.
In Shakespeare's tragic tale, Macbeth, the main character, is a brave and powerful soldier who soon becomes fascinated by the witches prophecies, and is led into murdering several characters that cause him to be haunted with unrepairable guilt. He is never at ease, and is uncomfortable in his role as a criminal because of inability to bear with his guilty conscience and physiological consequences that make him believe he is going crazy. As he begins to see allusions and false creations, his guilt takes over his mind and transforms his loyal being into living in complete insanity. The thematic statement is that guilt leads to emotional instability and will always come back to haunt an individual. Shakespeare effectively portrays the theme of